What's New

View the latest issue of the Cultural Science Journal

View keynote videos of the international conference Creating Value: Between Commerce and Commons

Audio recordings from the inaugural Cultural Science workshop Creative Destruction
Pics from Creative Destruction



About Us

Cultural Science is an initiative of John Hartley’s Federation Fellowship program, at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation (CCI) at QUT.

It began as an exploration of the connections between cultural and economic values in the context of creative industries and consumer productivity, using the insights generated by combining humanities-based approaches to culture with evolutionary economics, complexity studies, and computational methods. It has begun to develop into an international, interdisciplinary research group. The initiative has a strong focus on disciplinary innovation, methodological advancement, and policy applications.

Evolutionary Studies
The broad backdrop for this initiative is the convergence of cultural and economic values. In the research field this has precipitated new dialogue between economic and cultural disciplines, following the development of both evolutionary economics and creative innovation research.

The most challenging thinking for humanities-based scholars is coming from evolutionary economics, complexity theory and game theory. In dialogue with these fields, researchers at the CCi have been developing a new model of the creative industries, based not only on creative outputs (as in traditional industries and policy) but on creative inputs (services, consumer-created content), and ‘social network markets,’ where values are dependent upon and express the choices of others. These are the source of value for consumer-created content, user-led innovation, Web 2.0 applications and self-made media.

Consumer Productivity and the Growth of Knowledge
We are modelling individual creative innovation as part of a larger process, the growth of knowledge, analysed at a macro or system level. Some of the most important problems in this context are clustered around participation, of both agents and enterprises, in a context where industrial-age expertise competes with population-wide access and use.

From this perspective the creative industries and new digital media can be seen as a kind of ‘creative wrecking ball’ in relation to existing models of both economic growth and cultural participation.

Cultural Science
We are convinced that the ‘creative destruction’ of some well-established knowledge paradigms is overdue in both economic and cultural analysis; and should form an important focus for research, both empirical and theory-forming, over the next five years.

Some challenging ideas are already in play, for instance the Santa Fe Institute’s attempts to produce a computational science of society.

We hope to establish firm principles and directions for future research in the field of cultural and economic values, leading to a new cultural science.

The empirical focus is on the shift from closed expert process (professional production in vertically integrated firms) to an open innovation system and complex adaptive networks, for example investigating social network markets. The fundamental problem to be addressed is how knowledge is evolving in a dynamic and complex open system that unifies the economic and cultural spheres and harnesses the energy of all the agents in the system, both individuals and enterprises.

Participants include:

We are in process of establishing an international group of experts in cultural science.

We would like to hear from you if you are interested in this initiative. Please contact us.